Alleged Armed Drug Robbery Resulted in Death
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Mary Galligan, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent of the New York State Police; Michael Ferrara, the Chief of Police for the City of Newburgh Police Department; and Carl E. DuBois, the Sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, announced today the unsealing of a four-count indictment charging six defendants with the murder of Jeffrey Henry on December 15, 2010. Jeffrey Henry was killed when the defendants attempted an armed robbery of individuals selling crack cocaine and marijuana from an apartment located at 54 Chambers Street in Newburgh, New York.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “This was a senseless death tied to drugs, guns, and greed. With our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, arrests have been made, and we hope justice will now prevail.”
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary Galligan stated, “Today’s charges and arrests are further evidence of the undeniable link between guns and drugs. The drug trade is potentially lethal not only because the product is poison, but because the business is rife with guns and people prone to using them.”
Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent of the New York State Police, stated, “The collaborative efforts of the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force have resulted in significant arrests in the takedown today in the city of Newburgh. At a time when gang violence and drugs threaten the fabric of our most vulnerable urban communities, these arrests send a strong message that these activities will not be tolerated in our communities.”
City of Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara stated, “The violence that plagues the city of Newburgh is caused by multiple factors and, as such, must be combated by multiple levels of law enforcement. The diligent work of my officers and detectives, combined with the assistance of county, state, and federal officials is critical to our continued crime reduction strategies. By all of us working together, we will continue to get violent individuals off the streets of Newburgh.”
Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois stated, “Today’s successful operation is another example of the effectiveness of combining resources to combat drug related and violent crime in our area. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to providing all available resources to federal, state, and local agencies to maintain the highest level of safety for the citizens of Orange County.”
The following allegations are based on the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
The indictment, United States v. Raymond Christian, et al., 12 Cr. 626, charges the six defendants with conspiring to rob individuals they believed to be in possession of narcotics and narcotics proceeds, conspiring to distribute the narcotics they expected to receive from the robbery, and actually robbing the individuals. Additionally, the ondictment charges the six defendants with using and possessing firearms and discharging one that caused the death of Jeffrey Henry. Two defendants, James Williams, a/k/a “L-1”; and Kevin Burden, a/k/a “Kev Gotti,” arranged for firearms to be provided to the other four defendants, Raymond Christian, a/k/a “Reckless”; Tyrell Whitaker, a/k/a “Bow Wow”; Rashawn Vassell, a/k/a “Bash”; Glenn Thomas, a/k/a “Gucci”; and other co-conspirators not named. Christian, Whitaker, Vassell, Thomas, and the other unnamed co-conspirators robbed individuals selling crack cocaine and marijuana from an apartment located at 54 Chambers Street in Newburgh, New York. Jeffrey Henry was shot and killed during the course of the robbery.
In a coordinated effort earlier today, officers and agents from the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force arrested all defendants. Four of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court. Two other are in federal custody outside the District and will be transferred to White Plains for arraignment. Five of the six defendants are residents of Newburgh. The sixth, Whitaker, lives in North Carolina.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the New York State Police, Newburgh Police Department, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is continuing.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Parvin Moyne and Andrew Bauer are in charge of the prosecution.
The defendants’ ages, and the maximum penalties they face upon conviction are listed in the chart below.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.